The FFF submethod states that words can be named by
Form, Feel, and Function.
- Some examples
of naming words by Form include (a) the leg of
a chair, (b) the handle of a pot, (c) the branch
of a family tree, (d) surfing the net or (e) brainstorming
Some of these examples illustrate naming objects by form while
other examples illustrate naming activities by form.
- A good punchy
example distinguishing naming by form vs. function is pentagon-UN.
The pentagon is named after the shape and form of the building
while the United Nations is named after the function and purpose of the building. Although both these buildings have as a purpose world peace they are named
- Examples of naming by feel/substance are
glasses, hardship, ironing-board, plaster etc.
The FFF principle is a special case of the literary techniques of
synechdoche-metonomy. These literary principles, universal to all languages,
state that items can be named by related items, by parts of those items, or by good
examples of those items. For example honey refers to anything sweet
since honey is a good example of something sweet. Similarly hot refers to matters of love since the two are related. Todays Rashi can best
be understood by applying these principles.
Biblical verse Lv20-18a refers to full physical intimacy with the phrase
he aroused her source. Rashi, in his terse manner, notes that a more common Biblical
phrase for initmacy is he uncovered her nakedness. Here Rashi is using the synechdoche
principle, which names categories by good examples of them. Uncovering of nakedness is typically
done during intimacy. Similarly, arousal is a good example of intimacy.
Advanced Rashi: There is a subtlety in Rashi here that may easily be overlooked.
One might think Rashi is simply providing a dictionary definition. But by naming a complicated
phenomena, intimacy, by good examples of it, uncovering, arousal Rashi is doing more. The Talmud
relates certain non-Jewish customs to fallaciously achieve modesty by not fully addressing during intimacy.
By calling intimacy uncover the Bible emphasizes that the purpose of intimacy is not just release and climax
but enjoyment and arousal. Similarly, by calling intimacy arousal Rashi emphasizes an important
component of the Jewish attitude towards intimacy: The partners should not just release and achieve climax
but they should be aroused and enjoy themselves.
Thus the Biblical idioms pithily catch important emphasii of intimacy and remind us of the good examples
(that is, synechdoche) of intimacy. Thus this Rashi is a fascinating study on how formal linguistic
techniques can nuance and encourage deep religious values.